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themselves. If then, by this postulate, Plato does as it were supersede himself, and declare the demonstrations in the Gorgias and Phaedon insufficient in what relates to this point, a purely ethical ground is now for the first time gained thereby, and the same Socrates undertakes the more subtle and laborious problem, and lays down his plan of proceeding, which is to be, first to search for justice in the state, where it must be in larger characters, and, consequently, more visible to the eye, and then to return to the individual mind, in order to see whether and how far it is the same in the one as in the other. And this plan is executed exactly in the same manner and in the same order as is here projected in the next third main division of the work, while this second part describes the Republic itself with a view to that, its origin and the way in which men are educated in it and for it. And here it is remarkable, first of all, how Socrates makes the state originate in the necessities, the basis of which is the original difference of men, since all are not equally adapted by nature for every thing which life requires, and consequently cannot, by practice, be equally accustomed to every thing, without, however, hinting even by a single word how they who are thus to compensate their mutual deficiencies, are to be found. But, though he looks upon a state as the work of necessity, his opinion certainly was not that it must originate from a random search or accidental meeting of individuals, but the general Hellenic hypothesis is the basis of his theory, that every united body, however small its compass”, produces such * Schleiermacher adds—and the German reader cannot be sufa perfective compensation of natures, and that necessity is only set up as representing the social nature of man, and the business of the state consists in converting local proximity among men into a regular condition of mutal aid and support, in order thus to keep men in a peculiar manner united in a fixed proportion. And even this on the other side, is not without a definite reference to the mind, in so far as not only here but elsewhere also in Plato it is represented as a compound, and that of such a nature that it is impossible human life should exist if any one of the component parts be wanting. We feel at once that more doubt attaches to that hypothesis which supposes that attention to war and defence, with which the whole organisation of the Platonic state is most closely connected, arises only from an endeavour after prosperity—an endeavour, of which Socrates himself particularly disapproves, declaring the only properly healthy society to be that most simply constituted union which confines itself to the production of the most indispensable necessaries. But according to this, so long as the state is in the enjoyment of that health, no other species of legislation could consistently appear in it, except just that which Socrates at the end of this part passes over as insignificant, that, namely, regarding barter and affairs of contract. Now, then, if we apply this theory to the organisation of a well-ordered condition in the mind itself, all the virtues would thus rest upon a morbid state. Perhaps, however, the praise bestowed upon an entirely undeveloped social state as being the only one consistent with real health, is not to be taken so seriously as it has been echoed by many in modern times. For, although at the urgent demand of the others Socrates particularly names sensual enjoyments, luxuries and arts, which are in the sequel for the most part rejected, as what may be according to his theory admitted, yet still there are wanting in that description of the original simple society, not without full consideration, I am tempted to suspect, all the spiritual elements without which it is impossible to live. The proper bearing of this too is therefore, probably, upon the reference to the mind, in which not before it is susceptible of a great multiplicity of sensual attractions, and manifold activity in itself, can virtue appear in a definite form, or the opposition between good and evil develope itself. Only the theoretical representation of the state itself does indeed seem to be too much sacrificed to that relation, when it is intimated that, because in the mind the separation of the functions is the ground upon which the whole doctrine of virtue that follows rests, that, therefore, also the operations of war and defence, because they correspond to a peculiar function in the mind, do, notwithstanding the fact that war occurs in the state only at intervals, form a particular profession distinct from all others; so that Plato here appears as a sworn advocate, the oldest philosophical one probably, of standing armies. And not even, upon his own theory, with perfect fairness; since it can only be said of the leaders of the army that their work is an art, the performances of the common fighting men, on the contrary, whether we look at what they do or what they suffer, comprehending in them nothing, an aptitude for which might not be acquired by means of a gymnastic education, combined with the practice of any other trade, while every citizen must be able to give that security which a firm disposition to preserve the existing order of things supplies, so Z z
ficiently reminded that in Greek Stadt and Staat (urbs and civitas) the city and the state political, are one and the same.
that the Platonic army, however sufficient the men may be, must ever continue a disproportionate burden upon the productive classes. But, notwithstanding the ease with which he might have avoided this vicious state of things, if he had taken the common soldiers from the working classes, and only made the leaders a separate order, he did not do so, because then the spirited principle * in the mind would have had no proper and perfect representation in the state. And thus we see how subordinate an object the representation of the state is in and for itself, and how every thing is only calculated for and regulated by the idea, that it is only to be a magnified form of the mind, in order thus to recognise justice more easily in it. This subordination is still more confirmed by what immediately follows. For after it has been determined what kind of disposition they must have, and what natural advantages they must enjoy, who are to defend the state, under the easily admitted pretext that this also will be useful for the investigation of justice, the mode of their education is discussed. And thus, what is here set up as the standard according to which all myths used in education are to be judged, that they do not inculcate a belief that the gods are the authors of evil, is manifestly of great importance for the individual mind. For the spirited principle, if it is to fight with effect against destructive inclinations, will be debilitated by the belief, that the same exist in the gods; and as little will it be able to press powerfully forward to abstract truth, if it can be met by the fact that the gods metamorphose themselves and practice deceit to indulge their passions. But upon the constitution and
arrangement of the commonwealth such a fancy has no immediate influence, but only in so far as it corrupts individual minds. The same may be argued of every thing in this part of the work connected with education, that it refers most to the individual, and that in a purely ethical relation, in order to effect in the mind a harmony of government and obedience, and that every essential part in it may perform its own office, and not encroach beyond it. Only, that generally regard is paid from the first to the principle, that the state cannot be better than the bulk of individuals composing it, whence its tranquillity depends upon their constancy of character, and its excellence upon the competency of each individual for his own business. As also in the maxim, that those only of the defenders of the state are to take part in the government of it, who are not in a condition to do anything except what may advance the good of the whole, we have that principle already shadowed forth which is not brought out distinctly until towards the end of the work, namely, that reason alone can judge of what is wholesome for the other parts of the mind, and that the reasonable man alone can estimate the value of other modes of life besides his own. To this purely ethical bearing upon the individual, we have indeed an exception in the discipline appointed for the champions, which belongs exclusively to the peculiar character of the Platonic Republic. But for this very reason it is here only superficially described, as not properly belonging to this place; and this description is only to be understood from what is said at full length upon the subject sometime afterwards. On the contrary, the law, which at the end of this part is made good in